At the risk of repeating myself I do not believe in the notion of “Survival Gear” as it pertains to the Florida Trail or any well traveled path with one exception.
Survival gear means there is a better than 50% chance you and your companions are going to perish and that what you need to carry is meant to extend your chances of rescue. The rule of 3s will tell you about you and the rule of Cs will tell you about stuff. SEAL training will tell you that you can take a lot of punishment… That said there is only one true piece of survival gear that offsets the rest. SPOT.
That might seem a little black or white but it’s harsh reality and of course there are some nice benefits especially while hiking in the Florida Everglades.
1-Day Pack (under 7lbs)
- 18L or smaller pack
- 1L clean, 1L dirty water bottles
- water processing kit
- 1P first aid kit
- Rain gear
- food (1lb per day or 1200 calories + 400 per hour)
2-Day Pack (under 10lbs)
- 18L to 25L pack
- 1-Day contents
- extra food
- optional stove for a warm meal
- shelter (could be hammock or tent depending on location)
NOTE there are still some exceptions that depend on location. For example whenever I hike Robert’s Lake I plan to bring a second pair of shoes. This is not about survival but safety as you could walk out barefoot but it’s just no fun.
Hiking in the everglades I carry what I call a 1-Day Plus pack. It’s essentially the 1-Day pack with the stove and shelter. The stove is all about making a coffee or mashed potatoes. The shelter is mostly about having some place to sit when the trail is under water; and since the hammock does not have a drain hole I need the rainfly/emergency blanket to keep the rain off. Lastly, the shelter kit includes an “emergency” (see above) bivy. It serves no purpose because I’m not going to b caught in a situation that requires it… it simply makes me feel good and at 4oz I’m OK with that.